AIDS Commission committed to accountability - Amoa
Accra, Aug. 19, GNA - Professor Awuku Sakyi Amoa, Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, said on Friday there were a number of interventions including spot checks on the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the HIV/AIDS sector to ensure accountability in their operations.
He said donors were concerned with the use of funds given out for HIV/AIDS activities and, therefore, the Commission was committed to ensuring that monies were not mismanaged.
Prof. Amoa was speaking to the GNA in Accra in response to questions on what the Commission was doing to check the misuse of HIV/AIDS funds by NGOs and community-based organisations (CBOs). He said the bulk of monies needed by organisations were given in tranches and the organisations had to follow up with a progress and financial report on their activities after which they could then receive additional funding upon satisfactory performance.
There are about 3,500 CBOs and NGOs working with the Commission. The Commission's activities are currently being funded by various funds including the Ghana AIDS Response Funds (GARFUND) made up of seed money from a 25 million-dollar World Bank facility and a 20 million pound facility from UK's Department For International Development and the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
Prof. Amoa said another way the Commission was ensuring accountability was to send investigators to conduct spot checks on the operations of these organisations without their notice, check their accounts after, which a report was made to the Commission.
He said these investigators acted as "whistle blowers" and if there was reason to doubt the operations of an organisation, auditors were sent in to audit their activities.
According to Prof Amoa where a case of misuse of funds was established against an organisation, they were made to refund all monies collected from the Commission.
He said sometimes projects were cancelled, where cases of misuse were established, adding that where huge sums had been misapplied the Commission referred the case to the Attorney - General's Department for legal action.
On measures to ensure that all areas of interventions such as prevention, care and treatment benefited from funding to avoid over concentration of activities in one area, Prof. Amoa said Ghana had 27 indicators to support all areas of HIV/AIDS activities. He said Ghana's interventions were supported by various international guidelines including those of the Millennium Development Goals and the 2001 UN General Assembly Special Session on AIDS, where Heads of State and government met to secure a global commitment to enhance and coordinate the international response to the pandemic in a more comprehensive manner.